Sounds Like They’re Playing A Gaming With You

, , , , | Working | May 28, 2019

(I enjoy occasional online gaming. During the course of a couple of weeks, my connection’s latency has steadily raised to the point that makes gaming impossible; other than that, though, the Internet works fine. After eliminating the possibility of hardware issues on my side, I call the ISP’s tech support. After a series of tests, the support rep says that there doesn’t seem to be an issue on their end, either. Then, he drops this gem:)

Support Rep: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more I can do. The only thing I can offer is to transfer you to our sales department, where they can upgrade you to a gaming plan.”

(This immediately raises a red flag for me. I tend to be VERY short-tempered when I get the feeling that I’m being screwed over; however, they are the best ISP we have, so I don’t want to switch to another. I start recording the call at this point.)

Me: “Hold up. A ‘gaming plan’? How long have you been offering this new ‘plan’?”

Support Rep: “About a month. You should really consider it; it should eliminate this latency issue you’re having, and it would only cost [amount that would significantly raise my Internet bill].”

Me: “Sounds awfully like extortion to me, you know. My Internet connection magically develops issues just as you start offering a new, expensive plan designed to remedy those exact issues? Do you think your customers are morons?”

Support Rep: “What?! Are you suggesting that we purposely slow you down?!”

Me: “I don’t know. Do you?”

Support Rep: “No! We’d never do that! I can assure you, sir, that we did not alter your connection in any way. All we did was to add plans with high-priority routing, for customers who need that.”

Me: “So, before those new plans came about, everyone simply had ‘normal’ priority routing, and now some of your customers have ‘high’ priority?”

Support Rep: *sounding relieved* “Yes, that’s it.”

Me: “But doesn’t this make the rest of your customers ‘low’ priority now?”

Support Rep: “Um…”

Me: “So, basically, you’ve downgraded my service, without my consent or even notifying me, while charging me the same price you used to. I’ll tell you what: clue in one of your supervisors — one who knows what a class-action lawsuit is — on this conversation. I’ll wait.”

(I get hold music for a while. Then I hear a different voice, who I assume to be a supervisor:)

Supervisor: “After reviewing the issues you were having, we’ve decided to offer you a free upgrade to a gaming plan.”

Me: “And a refund for the last two weeks, because I paid you for a service which you weren’t providing properly?”

Supervisor: *after a brief silence* “Yes.”

Me: “I thought so. Thank you and have a good day.”

(I didn’t have any issues for the rest of the years I was with them, until better ISPs emerged and I switched to one of those.)

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